The Texas Historical Commission
The following County Historical Commission (CHC) Tips & Tools contain recommendations by
Texas Historical Commission (THC) staff to assist preservationists in their efforts to
save the real places of Texas. For more information contact CHC Outreach staff at
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
CHC Outreach issued a survey earlier this year to document how CHCs prioritize, initiate
and participate in preservation activities. The survey asked, "When looking at the
annual work generated by your CHC, rank the following items in order of importance".
Results showed that CHCs felt the most important part of their work was the "protection
of historic resources".
Interestingly, the survey also showed that only 46 percent of counties understood the
levels of protection provided by the THC's various markers and designations. To help
educate CHCs and other preservationists, we're providing a brief overview of the
agency's markers and designations:
SUBJECT MARKERS are solely educational and reveal aspects of local history that are
important to a community or region. Marker topics include church congregations,
schools, communities, businesses, events and individuals. A subject marker is placed at
a site that has a historical association with the topic, but no restriction is placed on
the use of the property or site.
RECORDED TEXAS HISTORIC LANDMARKS (RTHL) designate building and structures at least
50 years old that are judged worthy of preservation for their architectural and
historical associations. The RTHL designation carries a measure of protection for the
property. Owners planning exterior changes to RTHLs must notify the THC 60 days in
advance of changes to allow time for consultation with the agency. Unsympathetic
changes to RTHLs may result in removal of the designation.
HISTORIC TEXAS CEMETERY (HTC) designations recognize cemeteries or burial sites that
are at least 50 years old and worthy of preservation for their historical associations.
The HTC designation encourages preservation of historic cemeteries but imposes no
restrictions on private owner's use of the land adjacent to the cemetery.
STATE ARCHEOLOGICAL LANDMARKS (SAL) receive legal protection under the Antiquities
Code of Texas. The designation of SALs on private land is recorded in the county deed
records and is conveyed with the property when sold. The SAL designation stipulates the
property cannot be removed, altered, damaged, salvaged or excavated without a permit
from the THC.